Massumeh Farhad

Chief Curator and The Ebrahimi Family Curator of Persian, Arab, and Turkish Art

To contact Massumeh, please email Christina Elliott at ElliottC2@si.edu
202.633.0500

Headshot of curator Massumeh Farhad smilingMassumeh Farhad joined the Freer|Sackler in 1995 as associate curator of Islamic art. In 2004, she was appointed chief curator and curator of Islamic art. A specialist in the arts of the book from sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Iran, she received her PhD in Islamic art history from Harvard University in 1987.

Farhad has curated numerous exhibitions on the arts of the Islamic world at the Freer|Sackler, including Art of the Persian Courts (1996), Fountains of Light: The Nuhad Es-Said Collection of Metalwork (2000), Style and Status: Imperial Costumes from Ottoman Turkey (2005–6), The Tsars and the East: Gifts from Turkey and Iran in the Moscow Kremlin (2009), Falnama: The Book of Omens (2009–10), Roads of Arabia: History and Archaeology of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (2012), and The Art of the Qur’an: Treasures from the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts (2016). Her publications include Slaves of the Shah: New Elites in Safavid Iran (2004), Falnama: The Book of Omens (2009), The Art of the Qur’an: Treasures from the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts (2016), and A Collector’s Passion: Ezzat-Malek Soudavar and Persian Lacquer (2017).

Publications